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Charting the ups and downs of the 2014 St. Louis Cardinals infielders' batting

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How did the St. Louis Cardinals infielders' batting production ebb and flow as the 2014 season progressed?

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Every player is streaky to a degree. There are peaks and valleys in his batting numbers over the course of the 162-game grind. It's easier to define some streaks than others. As someone who felt alternatively that a pitched baseball looked the size of a watermelon and pea, this aspect of the game has always interested me. So I thought I'd make some charts to see if we can get an idea of the ups and downs of the individual St. Louis Cardinals' batting production last season.

I went to Baseball-Reference at downloaded each player's 2014 game log. I used B-R instead of Fangraphs because B-R keeps track of a player's running stats over the course of the season while Fangraphs does not. Consequently, we don't have wOBA or wRC+ in the charts. Instead, I have three four charts for each players that cover the traditional slash stats of batting average (BA), on-base percentage (OBP), slugging percentage (SLG), and on-base plus slugging (OPS).

Each graphs has two lines. The red line is the player's cumulative end-of-year stat. The blue line is his running total. Comparing the two gives us an idea of the player's peaks and valleys relative to the constant of his overall performance.

The horizontal axis is based on team game number. So opening day is Game 1. The final game of the regular season is Game 162. I attempted to use dates but doubleheaders and Google's auto-formatting of the horizontal axis range made that more difficult. The horizontal axis includes only those MLB games that a player played in. As an example, Kolten Wong's stint in Memphis is not covered and the horizontal axis jumps from his last game on April 25 to his first game post-recall on May 16. The same principle applies to Yadier Molina's DL stint.

I had originally intended to include all of the Cardinals in this post but with four charts each, it got way to big. I divided the post into two. Today's covers infielders Matt Adams, Wong, Jhonny Peralta, Matt Carpenter, and Molina.

Some observations:

  • Wong was pretty streaky. He has pretty jagged peaks and valleys.
  • Yadi hit rather consistently above his seasonal marks for most of the year, injury and all, until tapering off down the home stretch.
  • For Peralta, it was a long, fairly steady march to his seasonal BA and OBP rate after a slow start. On the other hand, his SLG and OPS peaked earlier and then remained fairly constant till dipping to their final levels.
  • Carpenter's OBP was pretty remarkably consistent.
  • Adams did not end his first full season as the primary first baseman very strongly.

Matt Adams

Adams BA:  Running vs. End

Adams OBP:  Running vs. End

Adams SLG:  Running vs. End

Adams OPS:  Running vs. End

Kolten Wong

Wong BA: Running vs. End

Wong OBP: Running vs. End

Wong SLG:  Running vs. End

Wong OPS:  Running vs. End

Jhonny Peralta

Peralta BA: Running vs. End

Peralta OBP:  Running vs. End

Peralta SLG:  Running vs. End

Peralta OPS:  Running vs. End

Matt Carpenter

Carpenter BA: Running vs. End

Carpenter OBP: Running vs. End

Carpenter SLG: Running vs. End

Carpenter OPS: Running vs. End

Yadier Molina

Molina BA:  Running vs. End

Molina OBP:  Running vs. End

Molina SLG:  Running vs. End

Molina OBP:  Running vs. End